Tropical Storm Grace is bringing heavy rain to the area of Haiti devastated by a 7.2-magnitude earthquake at the weekend.
At least 1,419 people were killed and more than 6,900 were injured in Saturday’s earthquake that struck southwest Haiti. The death toll will rise as rescue efforts continue over the next few days.
The lack of resources, heavy rains and mudslides have made it difficult to locate survivors or recover bodies from the wreckage.
According to Daily Reuters meteorologist Michael Guy, the storm passed along Haiti’s southern coast. The country’s southwest peninsula was expected to receive up to 10 inches (25 centimeters), with up to 15 in (38 centimeters), rainfall in some areas.
Guy stated that Haiti is susceptible to mudslides because of its topography — Haiti has mountains over 10,000 feet high and decades of deforestation, which has led to an ecological disaster. Guy said that 42 of Haiti’s 50 highest mountain peaks have been completely deserted and that only 1% of Haiti is left of its primary forest.
The recent earthquake and subsequent aftershocks have also destabilized the soil. Guy stated that heavy rainfall over a short time period can lead to dangerous and even deadly mudslides.
Repairs are underway after aftershocks and mudslides obstruct the roads between Les Cayes, Jeremie and Jeremie.
According to civil protection agency, Saturday’s earthquake damaged and destroyed tens of thousands more homes. It blocked roads and destroyed infrastructure, making it difficult to get vital supplies to the affected areas.
Daily Reuters has been informed by local hospitals that they are overwhelmed with victims and urgently need medical supplies.
At a depth of approximately 10 km (6.2 miles), the earthquake struck Saturday morning. Its epicenter was located 12 kilometers (7.5 mi) northeast of Saint-Louis-du-Sud, in the southwest portion of the country.
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This location is approximately 96 km (60 miles) west from the epicenter for the devastating 7.0-magnitude earthquake that killed between 220,000 and 300,000.